How to Determine if a College is a Good “fit”
When high school students start thinking about life after high school and begin researching colleges, they will undoubtedly hear the term “college fit.”
This term refers to a college that meets a student’s needs and wants academically, socially, and financially.
According to a recent article by Jessica Velasco, the following is a “college fit” list students may want to consider when searching for a college that best suits their needs.
- Majors. If you know what you want to major in, make sure the colleges you are interested in have that major. In addition, look at other possible majors that pique your interest as more than half of college students change majors during their college career.
- Class size. Think about the setting you would thrive in. Some students like having classes in large lecture halls, while others prefer small classrooms that encourage discussions. You can also find the average class size and professor to student ratio on most college websites.
- Academic resources. Research your colleges to see if they offer tutoring, advising, and any accommodations that you might need. You can call the college and speak to someone who is an adviser to see what the college offers.
- Student activities. If you know you want to be involved with a specific organization or activity, make sure they are offered at the colleges on your list. Of course, you can always see what is needed to start an organization on your own if needed.
- Diversity. If this is something that is important to you, find the college’s statistics that will show you the diversity of the campus.
- Weekend activities. If you are going to be living on campus, this may be extremely important. Check to see what is offered for each college.
- Intramural sports. Most colleges offer intramural sports programs and participating in these is a great way to stay active and meet new friends.
- The true cost of attending college. Just because a college may seem out of reach financially, first look into all of the financial aid options that are available. In addition, you can find a “net price calculator” on all college websites so you can understand if you can really afford a specific college.
- Affordability. Make sure you take advantage of FAFSA and know your Expected Family Contribution. Most likely, you will have to pay some of the college costs, but taking advantage of financial aid will allow you to have a better idea on how much it will actually cost.
Finally, a few other things that might be important to you include the size of the school, location, and religious affiliation. All of these might factor into your final decision about which colleges to put on your “most interested” list.
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